Butterfly Kisses Ch. 01byvelvetpie©
:: Monica ::
I pulled the truck into the driveway and doused the lights, letting the ignition idle into silence. Night had long since fallen and my childhood home rose like a soulless specter, deftly limned in the moonlight. I sat quietly, watching the shapes of clouds move over the landscape and wondered if they were portents of what was to come. It had been nearly five years since I'd left this house, since I'd run screaming and crying down the flagstone path and escaped my father's heavy hand.
I had been six days from turning eighteen and I was determined to be with Jorge Arias, my 28-year old boyfriend. Of course, my parents didn't agree; I was much too young, they said. I didn't understand what 'love' was all about and I needed to slow down and take my time. I didn't want to take any time. I wanted Jorge and I wanted him now. After returning home later from a date, my clothing mussed, my father issued an edict. There were to be no more dates with Jorge.
The next ten minutes of my life were a blur. I don't remember what I said. I just remember the bright heat of anger searing my brain and tears that clogged my throat as I argued with him. And then, I made that momentous decision: I left. I burst out of the screen door and ran as fast as my legs would carry me. I had never returned home. Until now. Foolishly, I had married Jorge and had been living with him in Mexico, thinking that I had a charmed life. My father was right. I knew nothing.
Five years, two miscarriages and a broken arm later, I decided to leave him, fleeing in a sixteen-year old truck with only a small suitcase of clothes and a few photographs. His latest mistress, now pregnant with the son I was unable to have, told me that he was planning on having me killed so that they could collect the life insurance proceeds. I immediately quit my job, cancelled the policy, warning them of what I'd been told and decided to come back home.
I drove almost without stopping, with the exception of getting gas, worried that every pair of headlights moving up behind me was Jorge and his brother, Juan, coming to get me. So here I sat, stuck between the past and the present, wondering if there was a future. It was possible that my father wouldn't accept me back. With no money, where could I go?
I raised a hand to the chilly glass, looking up at the dark window of my parents' bedroom. So close and yet so far. I just couldn't convince myself to leave the car, my fears of rejection so strong that I couldn't stop sobbing. I was so tired. So tired of driving and running. I just wanted to rest. I pushed the lock buttons down and slipped the seat belt off, stretching out on the front seat. Maybe tomorrow I could face him but not tonight. I was just too tired. Just too tired …
:: Andrew ::
Another day dawned and unfortunately, I opened my eyes, angry that God hadn't answered my prayers. I was still alive. Breath still filled my lungs and blood still pumped through my body. I closed my eyes and bit my lip, trying to keep the tears from falling. Since this happened every day, I knew that I couldn't stop and I just sobbed for five minutes, feeling like a petulant, angry child. I hated God. Why did he have to leave me like this? No wife, no daughter, no grandchildren. Just a huge house in which the ghosts of my family padded around me like raindrops on a tin roof and a knee that swelled up like clockwork.
I swung my legs out of the bed, scratching around my piss hard-on as I stumbled off toward the bathroom, then headed down the stairs, aching for a cup of coffee. I noticed the truck when I crossed through the living room and I grabbed the shotgun from behind the door, opening the front door and slowly approaching the vehicle. There was someone in the front seat but all I could see were two long, tanned legs and a wild mass of dark chestnut curls.
Inching forward, I used the muzzle of the gun to tap on the window and quickly stepped back as the person jerked up, smoothing the hair back from the face. I nearly dropped the weapon when the almost identical features of my wife stared back at me and our eyes met as she opened the door, hers filling with tears.